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David Ripley: Otter Signs Ultrasound Bill

April 2nd, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Idaho Governor Butch Otter has signed HB516 into law. This new feature of the Informed Consent statute will require the Department of Health & Welfare to include information about where a woman can go to get a free ultrasound of her baby prior to an abortion decision.

At least seven of the state’s pregnancy care centers now offer ultrasounds as part of their care and counseling services for women and girls dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.

The legislation was brought forward by Right to Life and sponsored in the Legislature by Rep. Ron Nate and Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll.

During their opposition to the bill, Planned Parenthood testified that they use ultrasounds on women and girls they’ve ensnared – but only as part of an abortion procedure.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Killing Our Future

April 2nd, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

CNSNews is carrying a story today which clearly shows the impact legalized abortion is having on the fate of humanity. They are reporting that we will soon face a future in which those who are 65 years of age or older will outnumber children under the age of 5. That is a first in all of human history.

Their report is based upon data just released by the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the study, “these two age groups will continue to grow in opposite directions. By 2050, the percentage of the (global) population 65 and older will be more than double that of children under the age of 5”.

The globe’s 25 oldest nations begin with Japan and include 22 European nations. The youngest countries are found in the Persian Gulf.

Japan, Germany, Italy and Greece are clearly gentrifying. America is teetering.

The major culprit is declining birth rates resulting from legalized abortion and cultural shifts toward smaller families.

The Census Bureau report raises alarm over the prospect of a dwindling working population supporting an ever-growing elderly population in the decades ahead. We can already see some of that demographic reality hitting the United States in the way ObamaCare was structured to force younger Americans to get expensive coverage in order to subsidize benefits for older folks.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, National Sovereignty, Politics in General, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Obama Uses FDA to Subsidize Planned Parenthood

April 2nd, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Food & Drug Administration announced yesterday that it was caving in to pressure from Planned Parenthood to expand the use of RU-486.

Specifically, the FDA will now allow Planned Parenthood to dispense the deadly chemical cocktail to women and girls until nearly the end of the 1st trimester of pregnancy – much longer than its original restriction of 49 days.

The FDA has also dropped a requirement that a physician provide mifepristone to patients, meaning that nurses or other personnel at Planned Parenthood will be authorized to give out the drugs. Making matters worse, the agency has dropped a requirement that the woman return to get the second drug (misoprostol); now the woman or girl will be sent home with the second drug to complete her abortion at home without medical supervision.

Given the clear evidence of RU-486 harming women – deaths have been reported – it is most disturbing that the new regulations have dropped the requirement that a woman return for an exam following the abortion.

Clearly, these more liberal regulations are not designed to protect women and girls; this is a gift from Barack Obama to his pals at Planned Parenthood to feed their bottom line.

It is rather striking that these new regulations have come down less than a month after the Republican Senate confirmed Obama’s new Commissioner of Food & Drugs, Dr. Robert Califf.

In response, Congressman Chris Smith issued the following comments:

“Not only is mifepristone used to kill babies, it is a poison that has harmed and even killed women. Yet even with this record, President Obama has bowed to pressure from his abortion cronies and has further expanded the use of the abortion pill, putting the health and lives of even more women and children at risk.”

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: Uncomfortable GOP Fit for Trump

March 30th, 2016 by Halli

by Richard Larsen

Even the mention of political parties in general brings out the worst in some people, and the reaction only becomes more vociferous and “colorful” when specific parties are mentioned by name. As despised and maligned as the two major parties are, at any given time, it’s amazing they’re still around, even though they fill a crucial role in our American political system. But there has perhaps never been a presidential election in which party affiliation has meant less than in this one.

The founding fathers were adamantly opposed to the concept of political parties, or “factions,” as they often referred to them. The principles upon which our republic was established are fundamentally premised on the assumption that governance would be by rationality and collaboration amongst the citizenry and those in government, and our founders were convinced that a consensus for the greater good would always prevail.

The ink was hardly dry on the Constitution before factions, or parties, began to be formed. And perhaps most surprisingly, those most critical of parties were most instrumental in their formation. George Washington had said that party bickering “agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another.” And Thomas Jefferson claimed, “If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”

Washington’s policies, foreign and domestic, strengthened and expanded the power of the new federal government, spawning a faction of Federalists. A broad cross-section of the populace was opposed to this expansion of centralized power, and became known as the Democratic-Republicans, harboring the same loathing of centralized power that the Anti-Federalists did during the drafting of the Constitution. This anti-federalist sentiment led Jefferson to resign as Secretary of State to lead the opposition to the Federalist faction of Washington, John Adams, and Alexander Hamilton. This marked, in essence, the birth of America’s two-party political system.

The ideological bifurcation of our founder’s republicanism, which spawned America’s earliest two-party system, continues today, and still provides the demarcation of contemporary parties. In general ideological terms, yesterday’s Federalists are today’s Democrats, more inclined toward centralized power, and the Anti-Federalists, or Democratic-Republicans, are today’s Republicans, favoring decentralized power and individual liberty.

Like the Anti-Federalists of yesterday, today’s Republicans generally favor less government, less centralized control over the economy, less regulation and control over the private sector, less spending, and lower taxes. Also, like their 18th century predecessors, the current iteration of anti-federalists also are more literal and devout in enforcement of our Bill of Rights, and the credo trifecta of the Declaration of Independence, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Even though such a general belief system runs deep in the GOP (Grand Old Party), there’s no litmus test for fealty to those principles in order to declare party affiliation. Nor is it requisite for those who run under the Republican banner. It’s simply a matter of self-identification, and anyone can claim at any time to be a member of either of the parties, or none of the parties.

And the same holds for candidates. And this is where things get sticky for Republicans. The current GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump, has a history of statements on his belief system that could make him more of a Democrat than a Republican. He also has a history of donating more to Democrat candidates in the past than to Republicans. Yet today, he claims to be a Republican.

Perhaps even more disconcerting for Republicans, rather than broadening the GOP’s “big tent,” he’s narrowing it with his incendiary speech and antics. By so doing, he’s reshaping the perception of the party he claims to be a member of and wants to lead. And judging from current polls indicating Hillary Clinton would thoroughly trounce him in November by eleven points, his alienation of minority voters, certain religious voters, most voters with a sense of principle, many conservatives, and people with a sense of decency and propriety, his march to the nomination could easily be characterized as a GOP political suicide by amputation – one limb (or demographic) at a time.

No wonder “the establishment” Republicans, and life-long party members who have invested years, even lifetimes, to broaden electoral appeal while striving to stay true to party principles take exception to his redrawing the face of the party! He is not a Republican at heart, and in 2004 even said “I identify more as a Democrat.” He has given little over the years to the Party, and shares little ideological alignment with it, yet much like a 19th century “carpetbagger,” sweeps in and hijacks the political apparatus with which he shares little affinity, and takes over.

With no litmus test or oath of fealty to the GOP, or to the principles espoused by the party, it’s disturbing that one can simply assume the right to take over and reshape the face of an entire organization, simply on the strength of his populist lingo and propaganda. To many who have spent their lives attempting to favorably shape the public perception of their party, Trump’s hijacking is as distasteful as it would be if Rush Limbaugh were to do so to the Democrat Party.

Party representation has perhaps never, in recent political history, meant less substantively or ideologically, than it does this year. The surprising breadth of support for Trump is not based on principles and party ideology. It’s based on electorate anger, dissatisfaction with the system, and adulation of an anti-establishment persona. Because ideologically, Trump is a box of Cracker Jacks – we have no idea what kind of surprise comes inside!

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Posted in Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

David Ripley: Legislature Gives Final Approval to Organ Harvesting Ban

March 26th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Late yesterday, on the eve of adjournment, the Idaho House voted 54-14 to approve SB1404. This landmark legislation makes it illegal to harvest tissue from aborted babies, and it makes it illegal to use such tissue in experimentations at Idaho’s public universities and colleges.

Thus, SB1404 attacks both the supply and demand side of the organ trafficking horror revealed by the undercover video project of the Center for Medical Progress.

The only organized opposition to the legislation came from Planned Parenthood – the same group which has used fetal tissue to subsidize payroll for its abortionists across the nation. This is the same organization which claimed as recently as yesterday to unwitting reporters at KTVB that they don’t harvest and sell organs from its Idaho abortuaries.

And, yet, Planned Parenthood of Idaho has a long track record of deceiving public officials and the general public about its operations and intentions. (Only a year ago, they told legislators they had no plans to perform “web-cam” abortions using RU-486; in December they filed suit against the State because they have a “constitutional right“ to offer such services across rural Idaho).

The clueless media dutifully reported on Democrats skipping out of the House State Affairs Committee on Thursday morning because they were “offended” by the very concept of legislation like SB1404. The same media outlets made no attempt to contact pro-Life sponsors of the legislation for a response; thus the self-serving construct of Planned Parenthood’s “victimhood” went unchallenged. (Channel 7 didn’t even bother to cover the actual committee hearing in which testimony was presented regarding the critical need for this legislation).

But facts are stubborn things and the people of Idaho have been well-served by their legislators on this bill.

Sen. Cliff Bayer, for instance, gave compelling testimony about the serious ethical consequences to medical science from an unchecked reliance on tissue harvested from aborted babies.

While Democrats protested out in the hallway, claiming that the legislation was not “worthy of our time”, mothers who have miscarried their babies shared their tearful experiences with legislators and expressed gratitude for provisions of the bill which allow for a Certificate of Miscarriage to commemorate their loss.

The legislation is now before Governor Otter.

You can see the biased media coverage for yourself by clicking here.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Idaho Senate Approves Unborn Infants Dignity Act

March 23rd, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Idaho State Senate overwhelmingly approved SB1404 yesterday afternoon. This historic legislation would make it illegal to harvest organs and tissue from aborted babies. It would make it illegal to conduct experiments with tissue and organs ripped from babies killed in abortion. That includes embryonic stem cells.

Sadly, all Democrats on the floor sided with Planned Parenthood, which has fought vigorously against this bill – despite claims that they are not selling aborted babies from their abortion clinics in Idaho.

The legislation now moves to the House State Affairs Committee.

Please join us in praying for the success of this legislation in the closing days of the 2016 legislative session.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, March 21

March 22nd, 2016 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

The other day there was a group of legislative advisers (lobbyists) gathered in a huddle in the hallway outside one of the committee rooms. I stopped for a few seconds to see what was weighing so heavily on their minds. I told them they reminded me of something that a former legislature used to say, “All we know is what we tell each other.”

Looking at what we still have on our plate for the year it might take a little longer than expected to get through it. In the State Affairs Committee we have plowed through most things. We do have a couple of bills that we know will be coming from the Senate that need to be considered. We should know early in the week if we can adjourn by week’s end.

There are still talks going on to come up with a plan for a solution to what we are referring to as the gap. At this stage it has been a new plan every day in an effort to see if one of them will get enough votes to pass. There are three distinct groups of legislators on this issue, those that think we should definitely do something, those that don’t want to do anything at all, and those that want to come up with the perfect plan. At least they are talking, which is more than has happened over the last three years.

The compromise bill that will allow carrying a concealed weapon without a license passed the House on Friday and is headed to the Governor’s desk for his action. The Idaho Sheriff’s Association as well as the Fraternal Order of Police supported the legislation. I am reminded of what Paul Harvey pointed out often, that freedom implies responsibility and this bill comes with the responsibility of knowing where Federal Law will not allow weapons without a license.

I learned to drive at a very young age because my dad needed someone to drive the tractor when he fed the cows. I had become a fairly good driver by the time I was old enough to get a license. Because I would be old enough to get my driver’s license before I could complete driver’s education, I told my dad that I was not going to take the class. I was told that I would indeed take the class because I would learn things that I needed to know. I obtained my license before I finished the class, but I have been grateful that I listened to Dad. I did learn things that I needed to know. And so it is with carrying a concealed weapon. I would recommend that anyone who desires to carry a concealed weapon get the training. You will be glad you did. Getting a license is not that painful either, and will help you at the gun store as well.

I went to dinner with some folks the other night, a chance to relax and get away for the evening. As is typical, even though we did talk about other things besides legislation, our conversation always seems to turn back to what we do around here. It might be true after all, “All we know is what we tell each other.”

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: Mitt Romney has Every Right to Express His Concerns for America

March 18th, 2016 by Halli

by Richard Larsen

The vitriol heaped upon former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney this past week is entirely illogical and irrational. It only makes sense in the emotion-driven context prevailing during this election cycle. But alas, due to the prevailing emotional populist sentiment, logic has become the most obvious casualty of the primary election season. No wonder this is often referred to as the “silly season.”

Romney had the temerity to criticize the demeanor, abrasive and crass style, as well as some of the unpropitious statements by current Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump. “He creates scapegoats of Muslims and Mexican immigrants. He calls for the use of torture. He calls for killing the innocent children and family members of terrorists. He cheers assaults on protesters. He applauds the prospect of twisting the Constitution to limit First Amendment freedom of the press. This is the very brand of anger that has led other nations into the abyss,” Romney declared.

The former Massachusetts governor came short of endorsing one of the other three candidates in the GOP race, but discouraged Republican voters from supporting Trump. In doing so, he echoed the sentiments of many who claim affinity with an ABT approach to the primaries – Anyone But Trump.

Some of the critics of Romney’s interjection into the race have said he has no right to do so. Isn’t it ironic that those so critical of Romney think they can express their disdain, but Romney can’t? Can’t get much more duplicitous than that! Frankly, every citizen has that First Amendment right of free speech. One is not deprived of that right just because they’re a former candidate, or may have lost an election.

Should his opinion carry weight? Logically, as well as a matter of principle, one should think so. He’s carried the party banner, and did so with dignity and class. He’s a man of sound judgment and acumen, and sometimes those who have run and lost have a better grasp of the stakes than those who haven’t. He has a vested interest in the future of the country and the future of the Republican Party. Perhaps his words are ignored at our peril.

Others have criticized Romney saying he was a “horrible” candidate in 2012 running against Barack Obama. This begs the question, what is a good candidate? He had no skeletons in his closet, no moral turpitude, and he acted presidential. He is, in many ways, the antithesis of this year’s frontrunner. Maybe that says more about the party and how it’s changing, than it says about Romney.

That’s not to say he didn’t make faux pas’ as a candidate. His factual observation that 47% of the populace is on some kind of federal assistance didn’t help, and according to some political operatives, his refusal to go negative against Obama sealed his fate. Is that another component to being a “horrible” candidate? Refusing to go negative? If so, it certainly explains why many in the GOP are in full-fledged adulation mode with Trump. With him, it will be a surprise if and when he goes positive.

Perhaps the animosity directed toward Romney is merely transference because of the anti-establishment mentality prevalent during this election cycle. Even this is illogical since Romney was not the preferred “establishment” candidate either in ’08 (when he bowed out early) or in 2012.

As the Washington Post reminded us a year ago, “Romney wasn’t the first choice for many in the establishment. True, a few bigwigs were deeply committed to him from the start. But they hardly represented consensus opinion. That’s why we heard so many entreaties for other candidates to run.”

In an interview earlier this week, Chris Wallace asked Romney about the “establishment” allegation. Romney responded, “Establishment suggests there must be some Wizard of Oz somewhere pulling the strings. That’s not the way it works. I sat there and watched Donald Trump, and I said, look, someone has got to say something. I didn’t talk to anybody and say, ‘I’m going to do a speech, do you have some ideas?’ This is something I did on my own because I care very deeply about the country.”

“I love America. I’m concerned about America and I believe the heart and soul of conservatives and Republicans recognize that the principles that Donald Trump is talking about have nothing to do with conservatism, nothing to do with keeping America strong.”
What the establishment allegation against Romney does is create a whole new definition of the “establishment.” In this iteration, it’s everyone who doesn’t share the gutter-mentality, gutter-speech, and noncommittal ideology of Donald Trump.

Which brings us to arguably the most denunciatory claim made against Romney – that he’s a “loser.” This requires assessment of why he lost in 2012. As Rush Limbaugh explains it, “4.5 million to 5 million Republicans didn’t vote in 2012. This is the conventional wisdom and they didn’t vote because they didn’t like the nominee, he wasn’t conservative enough, or there was a religious component.”

So was he conservative enough? Many in the establishment thought he was too conservative, hence their efforts to recruit and back more “mainstream” candidates. Further, anyone who read his book “No Apology,” knew where his priorities and his values were based. He did not lack in conservative fidelity! But as Rush points out, there likely was a bigotry issue with some who refused to back an LDS (Mormon) candidate. Their ecclesiastical purity trumped their love of country. That is unconscionable! Voting for a president is not an ecclesiastical endorsement!

Those verities translate into Romney’s critics perhaps being the real losers. If they didn’t bother to get behind him and vote four years ago, they’re the losers. Romney, and the nation, simply reaped the fruits of those who condemned us with another four years of “the One” by their imprudence and inaction.

The country missed one of the greatest opportunities for principled, conservative, and classy leadership four years ago. What a shame that he is maligned now for having the audacity to share his valid concerns for the future of the party and the nation!
Romney had every right to share his insights, and we simply prove yet again that we’re losers, as a party and as a nation, if we fail to listen to wisdom and reason, regardless of how much we may like or dislike the source.

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Posted in Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Pocatello Issues, Politics in General, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

David Ripley: All We Need to Know

March 18th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Barack Obama’s campaign to pack the court has been fairly restrained and subtle up to this point. He has been arguing that he has a constitutional duty to pick a nominee to replace Justice Scalia. And the Senate has a duty to “advise and consent”.

He brought forth a sitting appellate judge, Merrick Garland and positioned his candidate as a reasonable “moderate”. No sinister plot here.

Thankfully our friends on the radical left are a bit more honest. It saves a lot of time and helps average folks understand the dangerous game Obama is actually playing.

Yesterday the Planned Parenthood chief couldn’t restrain herself. Cecile Richards offered high praise for the president’s choice – which is all anyone really needs to know about the nominee’s “moderate” politics. While reports have surfaced that Garland also has a terrible record on gun control – we can now be certain that he is also a committed ideologue on the matter of protecting the Roe abortion regime.

Regardless of what happens this fall, Republicans are well justified in demanding a better option for the determining justice on the Supreme Court.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

David Ripley: Legislature Gives Final Approval to Ultrasound Bill

March 18th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The state Senate today gave final legislative approval to an improvement in the Informed Consent statutes on a party-line vote. For reasons all their own, every Democrat opposed the legislation.

HB 516, brought forward by Right to Life of Idaho, would require the state to provide a pregnant woman or girl considering abortion with a list of pregnancy centers around Idaho who provide free ultrasounds. That list would be given to the mother prior to an abortion decision.

Of course, the state cannot force the woman to take advantage of those services. Nor should it. But giving a woman in crisis information about alternatives to the reality concocted by Planned Parenthood and Company is in the public interest. Those ultrasound images are the single greatest weapon against the Big Lie that there is not another life at stake in the abortion decision.

We expect the Governor to sign this modest advance into law, and commend RTL for bringing it forward.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Rep. Tom Loertscher | No Comments »

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